Wednesday, August 12, 2009

My Stand-Up Act

A little over a year ago, I decided to start doing stand-up comedy. As indicated on my appearance on Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? in 8th grade, I always had a dream of doing stand-up comedy. I did a few stand-up type of things in college but didn't pursue it after school since I found work in journalism, which took up nearly all of my time.

But I always wanted to do comedy. I ended up in a sketch comedy group (The Sixth Borough) and doing some storytelling/bizarre stuff at Bedtime Stories, the theme night comedy/variety show I started in Philly. But I started to meet a lot of the local stand-ups and got the bug to try that out.

I hit up a few open mic nights. I got some good reactions, but I started to like my act less and less. I was doing a really awkward act, complete with stretching routines before hand and a monotone delivery. Mostly, I was ripping off Dave Hill, who is my favorite comedian in the world.

So I started to change up my act. I wasn't sure where to go with it, but then one day while watching hoops I saw LeBron James do his traditional pre-game ritual of tossing baby powder in the air. I thought that would be a great way to start my act, since I couldn't remember anyone else doing anything like that.

I am actually one of the few people with good comedy tastes who enjoys the work of Dane Cook. His material is pretty bleh, but I love the way he moves on stage. And I also read Steve Martin's awesome "Born Standing Up," which talks about his stand-up career. I took from the book that Steve Martin wanted to try to do the exact opposite of what everyone else was doing.

I know a ton of amazing stand-up comics here in Philly. And there's no way I could do what they do in terms of observational comedy and things like that. So, I figured that for me to stand out, I'd have to try and do the exact opposite of what a lot of other people were doing.

So why not ape an act like Dane Cook's? He has catchphrases, hand gestures and crowds yelling punchlines of his jokes at him. I don't know anyone else who has any of that, so why not develop something around that?

So, I developed the persona of "The Greggulator" (my self-inflicted and unfortunate nickname in college). I thought it would be funny to see some guy no one has ever heard of at some open mic acting like he has a fan club and a popular catchphrase/hand gesture combination.

And that's where it stands.


Post a Comment

<< Home

see web stats